Connor Brown and Connor McDavid continued their impressive offensive play Friday night. But that wasn’t enough to keep the Erie Otters from their third straight loss, 6-3, to Western Conference-leading Owen Sound in front of 2,395 at Erie Insurance Arena.
Brown scored two goals, giving five goals in the past three games and a team-leading 12 on the season, and McDavid added a goal and assist for the Otters (4-9-1-2). But Daniel Catenacci and Gemel Smith had two goals and two assists apiece for the Attack (11-2-0-2), while Jordan Binnington stopped 20-of-23 shots for his eighth win in nine tries (8-0-0-1) against the Otters.
The Attack jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, as Holden Cook scored unassisted from in close 1:27 into the opening period. Then Jaden Lindo fired a wrist slot from the right wing past Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk at the 8:08 mark to build a two-goal lead.
However, Brown’s consecutive power-play goals – his 11th and 12th goals of the season, as well as fourth and fifth in the past three games – allowed the Otters to overcome a sluggish start and erase that deficit. Brown flipped a bad-angle shot from the corner off Binnington and inside the left post to move the Otters within 2-1 with 8:44 left in the period.
McDavid’s pinpoint pass to Brown in front tied the score at 2 with 5:59 left in the period. McDavid extended his point streak to 15 straight games. He has points in 15 of his first 16 career games. Yet the more experienced Attack gained momentum through their aggressive, attacking style. Owen Sound outshot the Otters 20-3 in the period, including Smith’s rebound in close with 4:11 left in the period that snapped the 2-2 tie. Dansk (32 saves on 38 shots) made several key saves, including on a shorthanded breakaway moments after the Attack took the lead. Owen Sound also began the third with 1:33 left on a power play. But moments after coming out of the penalty box, McDavid stole the puck at the Otters’ blue line and scored on an end-to-end rush to the the score at 3 at the 1:55 mark.
Yet the Attack responded quickly to take a 4-3 lead, as Catenacci scored on a rebound in front 1:05 after McDavid’s goal. Then Catenacci’s second goal of the night and 10th of the season, scored with 8:28 left, handed the Attack a two-goal lead. The Attack sealed the win on Smith’s second goal of the game with 4:17 left.
* News and notes: Troy Donnay left the game after appearing to block a shot with his right foot. His status for tonight’s game against the Attack is unknown. Adam Pelech was able to play Friday despite a bruised left ankle suffered while blocking shots in consecutive games last weekend. … Otters coach Robbie Ftorek altered his top two lines by moving Luke Cairns to the wing alongside McDavid and Brown on the No. 1 line and putting J.P. Labardo in between Connor Crisp and rookie Hayden Hodgson on the second line.
- Victor Fernandes